Know Thyself To Thine Own Self Be True – Just Do You

Know Thyself and Know Thyself To Thine Own Self Be True are ancient advice. Here’s what it means and how digging into who you are can completely change your life. In the end, just do you.

Polonius in Shakespere’s Hamlet said, “This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

Whoever wants to fully realize their true self, must be a nonconformist. It’s up to you to decide what is good and what is not. Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the support of the world.

To Thy Own Self Be True – Telling The Truth To Yourself

The truth is like a warm blanket, because when you find somebody whose words ring true, and you know that at the essence of it, what they’re saying is real, that it’s not a consensus of the general population, or it’s not what’s acceptable, so everybody deems that to be the truth, but the actual truth at the bottom.

There’s things that people don’t speak about. Yet you know at a core level that that’s the way things really are. So, truth and honesty, and how they are as a bedrock to a solid relationship with your self matter.

To operate from solid bed rock and not wet sand, you need to just do you. You need to know thyself as the first part and then secondly to thine own self self be true. All else is lies and that leads to separation of self. It tears your soul apart. Like a horcrux, in seven pieces.

I picked up the book, Tools of Titans, by Tim Ferriss, simply because inside there, you have a bunch of distilled knowledge on a bunch of areas, and the reason any of that advice is in that book is great is because it’s fundamentally true what you’ll read in there. You trust those people as authorities.

For example Tim Ferriss morning pages are an important tool for self discovery. The morning pages are a way of clearing the mind and getting your truest thoughts on paper. Throughout Tim’s book you’ll find many leaders in their fields that use journaling either before bed or in the morning to solidify their purpose and discover their true directions.

That’s intensely valuable, because if you’re looking up certain topics or experts on the internet, which is what we most do these days, you really don’t know if you’re getting a regurgitator of knowledge or if you’re getting someone that, like their life is that topic, and they’ve been into it, and they’ve proved it, and they’ve done it over and over again, replicated it, and things like that.

You trust those people as authorties because they speak the truth on actionable advice about certain topics. This is why you must know yourself and not lie about who you really are or what you want to be and do.

When you deny who you are, you lose authority over your self. You move off solid bedrock with the slightest wind of persuasion. You become aimless and without drive.
When you can feel the truth in it, when someone’s talking without the ego, and you’re just like, “Okay, cool. Yeah, I get it.” Then there’s other people, when they’re talking, you’re like, “Oh my god, you’re so full of shit,” and you feel it right away.

Sadly you feel the same negative emtion when you blather on and ignore the maxim of know thyself
The essence of what I’m trying to tell you about now is that truth and honesty, transparency, especially with the people that are close to you in your life, means you’re somebody that they can count on, and that is something that you cannot buy.

The linchpin about all this that know theyself is the smallest circle. You have to know the core before bothering with the spiral that expands outwords. What do you stand for? What’s important to you? What won’t you tolerate?

If you don’t know these things, you’re lost.

It will make you sad.

Time will pass and regret will set in.

To Thine Own Self Be True: How To Find Your Passion In Life And Make It Your Career

“Be clear why you’re here. Decide upon your major, definite purpose in life and then organize all your activities around it.” -Jack Canfield

how to find your passion
Now, for me, my note is that people go a little too foo-foo here. So, for example, I don’t know why I’m here. I’m 40 now. I have no crazy, Ghandi-like purpose or passion that I know of. My main motivator is pretty simple. It’s making money, cutting obligations, and enjoying a happy life. So for me, phrasing it that way makes a lot more sense than to think of smelling crystals and burning incense and stuff.

To be on purpose means that you’re doing what you love to do and doing what you’re good at and accomplishing what’s important to you, so that’s how I see it. So that brings up the integrity thing too.

Know Thyself By What Drives You

zen circle deep thoughtEveryone wants to feel good and happy. If they say they don’t then it is probably because they do not know how to get happy and have given up on trying.

Almost everything we do in life is to get away from pain and move towards more pleasure. The thing is that sometimes we don’t even know what is driving us and that is a very important thing to know. Because if you don’t know what drives you to do what you are doing… You’ll never know what to do if you want to achieve something different than you already have.

What drives you is your values. Your most important values are what colour your judgements you make consciously and unconsciously every day. Do this day after day, month after month and year after year and you’ll see that the values you hold that colour your decisions become the forces that create the person you know as yourself. If you want to know what drives you so that you can then change your actions to achieve something different than you are now, I suggest you pose this question to yourself:

What is most important in life to me?

Now just list out 5-10 of the first things that come to your mind. Don’t worry about getting them in order yet. Just get everything that is in your head out on paper. Now look at the list again and look for things instead of states. What I mean is money for example. People will say “Money is important to me”. Money is not important to anyone. It’s paper. What is important is what that money provides or does for you. So in my case when I list money what I am really saying is that money is important to me because it allows me the freedom to do the things I want, when I want. So money is not important to me. Freedom is. So I would go back and change is from a thing to a state.

What this will do is show you important things about yourself. When I did this I realized a huge conflict inside myself. I wanted money for freedom but the pursuit of money in the way I was doing it was limiting my freedom because I had to be at work. Now there is an internal struggle that was holding me back. Because of this realization, I changed my approaches and realized that I will only work when it generates recurring or passive income from one time effort.

After you figure out what positively motivates you, do the same thing for the top 5-10 things that you move away from. We want to look at the carrot and the stick. Both influence every decision you make and thus, who you are.

When you get these conflicts out of the way, you are clear inside and start to really apply yourself to everything 100 percent and 100 percent is the only way to go.

How To Find Your Passion – Watch Video Version

When you’re brought up a certain way, you see certain things, your parents tell you certain things, you listen to stuff, and then when you get older, it’s kind of like if your mom used to make a whole bunch of French onion soup or something with bread. And then, you smell that when you’re older, and you’re like “That’s good food. I like that food.” So it’s the same kind of thing. Maybe, to be on purpose to me is kind of like when the way you were brought up and the things you were exposed to, when you encounter them later, you feel comfortable doing them.

Let’s say your dad was always working in the shed and he liked the smell of cedar and stuff like that. And then you end up becoming a carpenter later because that feels like you’re on purpose, when you’re framing houses. That sort of thing. I think that’s a little more likely than a beard-wearing dude up in the cosmos telling you that you were put on Earth specifically for this person or for doing this thing. Anyway.

There are people that believe when you’re truly and passionately on purpose, the people, resources and opportunities you need naturally gravitate toward you. Hey, cool, maybe that’s true. It’s not true for me. I think being on purpose is great, but if no one pays you anything for it, you’ll just be stressed out and broke. You can have hobbies, but you need a market to make some money.

See also: The Truth About Do What You Love And The Money Will Follow

Would You Do It For Free?

Ask yourself, “What is a job that I would love so much that I would do it for free but that people would pay for?” You’ve got a winner if the numbers look good on profit margins, number of available audience and barrier to entry. But if you just think, besides Pewdiepie, if you think playing video games all day is going to do it for you, that’s a little bit harder of a road to travel.

Okay, you were born with an inner-guidance system that tells you when you’re on or off purpose by the amount of joy you are experiencing. Again, that sounds like that sort of esoteric stuff, but I think again, it’s the same thing. You’re brought up in a musical household, you’re going to gear toward musical stuff. May become a recording artist, you know what I mean?

Pat Williams is the Senior Vice President of the NBA’s Orlando Magic basketball team. He said, “Figure out what you love to do as young as you can, and then organize your life around figuring out how to make a living at it.” And that’s pretty cool because the longer you do something, the better you get at it. And then you’ll be seen as an expert, and money usually follows being an expert at something because you’re really good at it, and people will pay for the shortcut of the time you’ve invested. So I still believe you can do whatever you want once you build a business system. Oh yeah, that generates passive income.

Finding Your Passion Vs The Sure Thing

So I think before you go foofoo and just try to pursue this passion that you love and get trapped in there, why don’t you go for the sure thing? Find a market, provide them something that they want because once you have all the money coming in, you can do whatever you want. Whereas, a long time ago, when I listened to The Secret and all of that, I thought, all right, I’ll visualize, I’ll do exactly what I want and what I love, which was fitness, and I beat a long road of 10 or 15 years before I realized, you know what, if nobody wants what you’re selling, you’re just going to end up being broke and stressed out doing what you love.

Having said that, it’s not that people don’t want fitness stuff. You can do what you want, what you love, which for me was fitness. But you’ve got to make sure that your marketing skills and the market that you’re going for are a match. Don’t market to fit navy seals when somebody is sitting there at 300 pounds that really wants your help. Don’t put your wants ahead of market demand by saying, “Oh, I don’t work with overweight people. I only work with navy seals.” You know what I mean?

So in my view, purpose isn’t something holy or ordained by the universe. Purpose is doing what brings you happiness because happiness brings time in the practice of doing that thing, which is unmotivated by the money because the money comes and goes. So time and practice with an extraordinary amount of time in something, in some profession. You become good at it, and that means others will pay you for what you know as long as people want to know what you know.

Your Passion And Purpose Can Be Simple

So there’s a lot of people who say their purpose in life is to love and inspire others to share in happiness and all that. If you don’t feel that way, I say that’s great. If you just want to make money and chill on the beach, if that’s your purpose, that’s great. As long as you can find people who want something that you’re offering, boom. You’re good. I don’t think it needs to be super Mother Teresa-ish. I don’t know. Maybe that’s just rude, but whatever. So, again. Live free, happy, if that’s your deal, then that’s cool.

The Importance Of Sitting And Thinking

The dilemma comes when one day you realize you’re an adult. Suddenly you have the realization that all of your childhood illusions should have by now taken place. It now seems that your whole precious experience has been a journey-and now you’re at the destination. Maybe you’re not sure this is where you really want to live.

These are just thoughts of an average man, things that trouble me from time to time and I wonder if the same thoughts nag other people, or if maybe I should just try to ignore my deeper thought and try to preoccupy myself with the mindless activities and social games that seem to prevail over everyone else’s minds.

I wonder if there is actually a just cause or a morality worth upholding and to what end. Who is capable of giving the reward for achieving the highest order?

Everything seems like a game of make believe, I cant really see the usefulness of anything except helping other people. Especially easing their suffering. Self interests seem to be based on the journey and destination road, i.e., you work hard and long (giving you a sense of purpose) then you succeed and feel great satisfaction for a while, but then the process is over and you have nothing to preoccupy your mind from the larger nagging inquiries of your now unfocused consciousness.

The same goes for when your happy. You shirk off deeper thoughts because everything is fine now, and you don’t want to deal with the larger issues. It’s like when your lying in bed and then bam, you realize that someday you will cease to exist, death. It freaks you out to the point of panic because there is nothing you can do about it. So you just try to preoccupy your mind with some other menial thought and hope you fall asleep. Sometimes in a way, life is nothing more than a distraction, an endless game of successive apprenticeships to different loyalties, used to avoid deeper issues.

Much time needs to be spent alone finding out what your own mind says and what your spirit is trying to guide you to do. To this point, sickness can be gift, for the fact that it causes you to stop and reevaluate life, a startling progress check.

Everyone at some point wants answers. The questions vary but all have the same theme. To what end are life’s activities? To be rich? To be held in high esteem? To be happy? To have a family? What is the ultimate goal to strive for? Lastly, whom are we trying to impress?

In the end, is a rich man less dead than a poor man? A wise man than an idiot? A president than peasant? So what does it really matter what you have accomplished in the end? Only that you where happy and helped while you were here.

Love And Rain

love and rain a couple under an umbrellaLove is a funny thing. You care for someone, but rarely is the respect returned. Maybe our disappointment is not that the respect isn’t returned but that our expectations are not being met. Very seldom is love true. Often what we think is love is really a relationship that is maintained because each person is getting what they want from the other. That can all be pushed aside when stronger self interests or addictions come into play.

The motto of false love is “You are good for what I need you for.”

More often than not, sacrifice is a rare state. “You can stay until its no longer fun for me” is more the norm. The n the person that did indeed have true love, and did sacrifice is left wondering what it was all for and where they went wrong.

Well, you did it because you cared and that’s enough. Eventually though, you realize you should also have cared for yourself and in hindsight you were never really important but only a supporting role in someone else’s production.

So did you learn anything? Did you learn that when people are not in tune with your soul and purpose that it is not your job to change them? Or do you still think you can “fix” people and see lots of “potential” in them? Potential in a mate is waiting to turn someone into what you want and that’s not love. That’s selfish manipulation.

You need to design your life so that you can fulfill the grand design that gives you joy and makes you happy. The life story that only You with your special talents, personality and gifts can produce.

The thing about the love that most of us know is that love is an emotion. The crazy thing about emotions is that they are about as stable as tears in the rain.

The Truth Of Rain

the truth of rainA drop of rain hangs from a power line after a June morning shower. It only stays for a short while but in that time I notice it as beautiful. Lasers of color hit my eyes from every color of the rainbow.

The sun pulses through and the rain drop dances on the line as the morning wind whispers down the street.

The drop has no idea how long it will be there. It just does what it does best. It does “Being Rain”. The sun does “Being Sun” and the wind does “Wind”. Each thing doing only what it is, came together during my breakfast of oatmeal and blueberries to create something so beautiful, it’s now written in history.

How spectacular your life is, isn’t measured in the number of days you have lived or how much you gathered. The quality and beauty of your life will be measure in how much you truly became “You”. Know thyself and to thy own self be true. Just do you man. Peel away the layers of dead daily habits and conditioning to get at the core expression of who you are and have to offer.

Be your truest self. Bring your talents to light. Only the drop in the light can sparkle the brightest.

Trust Yourself Not The Guru

How many books have I read to try and “Find My Destiny” or “Attain Enlightenment”? Ya, probably the same large amount as you. You know where the answers are? IN YOUR GUT. Man, no one knows better than me, what lights my fire and gets my motor running. Why should I, or more importantly YOU, listen to anyone other than yourself to try and find out what you should be doing with your time?

Think about it. Do you know what you like doing and what you do not? Are you doing things you don’t like doing? Really…. then stop doing them. There, I just saved you $24.95 for a self help book. My donation button is over on the right.

Following? Screw That!

The answers you are looking for are always inside you. You don’t need to follow anyone in order for them to make you happy. Well, I guess unless following makes you happy. If that’s the case then do that.

Specific skill or technical knowledge is different. That is not what I’m talking about here. That can be measured, tracked and proven.

Seriously though, when was the last time you did something for something because you “SHOULD”. What the heck is that? Should? Who makes up the rules on that one? And who give anyone the right to make rules? Well, it used to be the majority of people agreeing on what was best for the group of people that lived inside that system. Like this. “If you want to be part of this group, then we’ve decided that sex before marriage is not an option. Agreed? Fine. You can stay”. Problem here is that eventually someone wants it all. Then the group falls into the illusion that they have control but in reality, it’s a couple big heads with self interests at heart.

From there starts the evangelism. Someone comes up with the great idea that if this is what we do, then everyone should buy into our little party (and there just may be more jewels in our crown if we do a really smash up job). Lets go convert some ‘savages’ to a more sensible way of living. “Hey you. Quit sharing you silly savages! Work for me so you can BUY what you need and have it all to yourself.” And that’s how the cookie crumbles.

Nothing is for certain. Any time you see black and white, you are in for a rude belief system crash at some point. If you never have your beliefs challenged by an internal voice, then “You have been assimilated by the borg”. You’re probably so caught up in your daily routine that you never stop to listen to yourself. STOP. LISTEN.


Trust that. Move on it. Know thyself

Every change requires energy. There is a difference between ‘struggle’ and ‘effort’. There is effort involved in sex. People don’t seem to complain. Struggle is when you are spending energy in an area you don’t want to be.

Maybe The World Is Still Flat

I’m amazed every day at how much you can improve your life if you simply think for yourself and do not except conventional thinking as the end all and be all of what truly is going on. Let me explain a little bit about what I mean.

When you do not know what to do in any given situation, then using the advice that you are given is a step up from knowing nothing. In todays world, with the laws put in place to protect us, at least you will not get hurt using this advice. Most times at any rate. This does not mean however that the advice you are receiving is in your best interests to get you on the fastest path towards your goals.

As an example you can take everything from workout routines to investment information. The people that are giving you the information have the financial resources to send their messages through the popular media chains. The can do this over and over to the point that all you hear and see is designed by them. On a large number of topics and areas of your life. Most often, those financial resources were made by selling you things or charging you fees to use things or access resources in the first place.

You have to think about that with the time and interest that it deserves. A really large portion of everything you see and hear on a daily basis is a controlled and designed message.

If your sources of information have a vested interest in selling you something, does it makes sense to think that their advice and suggestions are going to be one hundred percent unbiased? Hardly.

Now to the point. When you know better, you will do better. Look at the results you are achieving using the advice you are getting and look at the results the information source is getting and what they are doing to get those results. If you are advised to put your money into an investment because you will earn lots of money, is the person giving you that advice invested in that resource or are they making their money selling you that resource? It is a big difference.

Did the company get rich investing in shares or did they get rich selling their shares to the public? Don’t except things at face value. Question everything to the degree that it effects your life.

It’s the same with health and fitness. Is the person that is giving you advice using the advice they are giving you and is it working for them? Did the person selling you a diet plan end up having a heart attack, over weight at the age of 30? Or, are they simply selling you products? Is the diet plan you must follow available for purchase through them and so secret that you cannot find the information through free sources?

Model excellence and run away from hype. Pilot your own ship. To thine own self be true.

Only you know deep down where you truly want to be… this means only you truly know how to get there. You’ll do it by trusting yourself.

12 thoughts on “Know Thyself To Thine Own Self Be True – Just Do You

  1. Susan

    That was really cool Ray and so true. I have finally learned that I am making my life and myself what I want it to be and those who really love and care for me will want to be in it. It’s still a real bummer when you fall for someone and the love isn’t returned. Oh well, I’m still glad that I can still open my heart and love others. You gotta have faith that the real thing is on the way !!!! Have a great day.

  2. natasha

    Hola Ray! I’d like to share a few personal reflections on love…
    The Nature
    The shape of love far exceeds the limitations and labels we give it… This is the nature of true love: unconditional positive regard, experiencing the sublime through a vanquishing of the ego, and ultimately embracing the peace and calm of enlightenment. The nature of true love is a universal thread which connects all of humanity; it has the power to dissolve hate, heal inner turmoil, resolve wars, and unify the masses. Love, to me, is far more than feeling… it is a way of being.
    The Living
    Living love is the ultimate in deep personal fulfillment; we need only to look at such icons as Mahatma Ghandi and Mother Theresa to see this. Their love of and regard for humanity as a whole is second only to their deep, unconditional, judgment free, acceptance of themselves. It is this unconditional, unconditional acceptance of self which creates a way of being and living love. When we truly understand and accept that all of humankind is the same; experiencing the same highs, the same depths of despair, the same basic fundamental needs; we are only then able to see one another as reflections of the self.
    The Mirror
    Thus, only though accepting and deeply cherishing the self may unconditional love flow from us in proverbial waves of warmth, compassion, empathy, and profound approval. In living and being love we are able to see truthfully though the filmy veil of our perceived differences; and what lies behind the veil is simplicity personified: It is a mirror reflecting the inner self.
    I have found that when I come from a place acceptance and of no expectation, of desiring only the connection of two hearts sharing their beautiful vulnerability, I am satisfied and nourished… am able to flow with the moment. When I come from a place of fear and possession, I am always dissapointed, especially in myself at how, instead of seeing someone in their beautiful living singluar light, I see them as a construct of how I want them to be… how I expect them to be in reference to me… it ceases being about connection and starts to be about posturing, competition, and the pull and push of resistance… flow is stifled and I am deeply sad. Ultimately, I find that the law of attraction is of adamantine strength in my life… there is the tingle of magic in the air when healthy love is flowing from me… I can’t help but attract that goodness my way, and I bask, like a langurous seal in the sun, and soak up love’s bright light.
    You are a child of love and are filled with the whilrwind of creation… you are surrounded by love every minute or every day of every hour. Thank you for your open heart and your sweet smile 😉

  3. Andre

    Ray, when you get these thoughts how do you resolve them?

    What you describe in your first paragraph has happened to me also. After graduating from school, now what? What do I do? Where do I fit in the world? Can’t say I have truly come up with sure answers though.

    I have a somewhat long (30 min. subway ride) commute which gives a lot of time for thought.

    Some thoughts are so crazy, I wish they had never come into my mind (lol). But this discomfort with off-the-wall thoughts is my theory for why people wish to speak about nothing in particular on cellphones or read the paper (which I do).

    Now today’s economic crisis where it seems that no one knows how to deal with the collapse is something really disturbing. Instead of work that actually made something tangible, most people do work that only essentially push paper around. I’m still working on this thought…

  4. Raymond Burton

    I think you can always look at anything in two ways; positive and negative.

    If you lost your job you are either:
    1) desperate, jobless and about to be poor.
    2) Given free time to actually think about how to make your next fortune in a healthy and positive way that you enjoy and will help the most people.

    The other thing is that we don’t have to know the how. We just need to know the what. If you can figure out WHAT you want to do and WHAT makes you happy then the how will be attracted to you.

    In the end we are all going to die. No one has the answers. Make this ride as enjoyable as you can by living to your highest potential.

    How do I deal with negative thoughts? By not having them.

  5. Andre

    This post has a lot of things to think about. I have not thought seriously about many of these themes since college. Many thanks for the forum to work them out.

    Considering the helpfulness aspect of the post–

    I figure that being helpful is good for the soul as well as developing very positive human qualities: compassion, loyalty, faith, love. The reason these qualities are developed is that you have to recognize another person humanity to have a sense of service. Otherwise, why would a person do it?

    I also think that the desire to be helpful is a gift because what is second nature to one person, another person may not have an inkling of what the feeling is. Can a person be coerced to helpfulness? I don’t believe so–helpfulness is a matter of will (one has it or they do not). Can it be developed? Potentially.

    Your thoughts?

    A story–There is a senior citizen that I just lend an ear to. It is amazing to witness some people do not take the time to listen (and possess impatience with the elderly). The man is extremely kind, full of faith, and has an amazingly strong will. I can tell though that the years are slowly starting to take their toll.

    It is interesting to hear the stories of his life, and hard to hear of his concerns and his worries of getting things done before life comes to its end.

    Even though it will hurt when nature takes its course, I have decided to help him in my little way. I can only say that Sirach 3:12-15 is an inspiration.

  6. Raymond Burton

    O son, help your father in his old age, and do not grieve him as long as he lives; even if he is lacking in forbearance, in all your strength, do not despise him. For kindness to a father will not be forgotten. In the day of your affliction, it will be remembered.

    -Sirach 3:12-15

    You’re a beautiful soul Andre.

  7. Raymond Burton

    I forgot something Andre. Actually I forgot a lot and I think it’s another whole article but here is a bit of what I was thinking after reading what you wrote.

    I’ve always thought how awesome it would be to just be allowed to walk into a seniors place and say “who wants to talk”. Actually, maybe you can. I don’t know. And I want to find out. Just think about what you could learn about life from someone with so much experience. Priceless. And all they want is someone to listen.

    The other…

    I remember about a year ago (as you know I workout 🙂 I was walking out of the drug store and had the opportunity to help and old man into his car. I needed my strength to do it and I don’t know what he would have done if I was not there.

    After I said goodbye, I had a feeling in me that I can’t put into words. It was the most useful I have ever felt in my whole life. I thought if I could wake up and get this feeling every day by helping… it was like “THE” answer is EVERY question. I can’t really explain it.

    I read once “Where you tears fall your treasure lies.” When your soul is moved to tears with the intensity of a moment, you’ve found your calling.

  8. Andre

    Speaking with you about this issue caused me to remember an article I read in the paper one day. I just looked at the headline and passed it on. When I was eating dinner, I happened on the article again. I was glad I did, it was a wonderful article. Our conversation made me think of it again.

    It is about a hospice for homeless people in the city called Joseph’s House. I never knew it existed. The work they do is an example of what we have been conversing about here.

    So I offer the article for the consideration of the readership.

    As for the kind assistance you provided to the person in need, I believe you fulfilled the spirit of the reading in Sirach. I’m happy that you were there to offer assistance.


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